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Update on the Origins 2019 Preview and Publisher Preorders

W. Eric Martin
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In just three weeks on June 12, BoardGameGeek will launch its livestream broadcast from the 2019 Origins Game Fair, so if you can't make it to that show, you can turn to the BGG channel on Twitch.tv and watch the new and upcoming games being presented on camera by their designers and publishers.

To check out which games we aim to feature on camera, you can peruse BGG's Origins 2019 Preview, which now tops two hundred listings and which should grow quite a bit longer over the next 2.5 weeks as I'm poking and re-poking publishers who haven't yet responded to my requests for info. I want to ensure that those going to Origins 2019 will know about as many games that will be there as possible, while also getting folks scheduled for demo slots ahead of time.

If you will be at Origins, you might consider preordering games via our Origins 2019 Preview for pick-up at the show. As I noted in early May 2019, BGG has implemented a convention preview preorder pick-up system starting with this preview, and we intend to make this same system available in the Gen Con 2019 Preview, the SPIEL '19 Preview, the BGG.CON 2019 Preview (yes, we'll have one this year), and pretty much every con preview to come. How does this system work for you the user? Chaz Marler, who developed much of the preorder system, explains in this video:




For those who want the text version, scan the Origins 2019 Preview for titles available for preorder, click on them to add them to your cart, pay for the stuff, receive a confirmed order in your GeekMarket account, then bring proof of purchase to Origins 2019 and show it to the publisher to pick up your stuff. Specific pick-up details might vary depending on the conditions that publishers set up when they establish preorders. No one has yet demanded that you hand over a jar of Nutella upon pick-up, but I can imagine it happening at some point.

If you want to see only those items available for preorder on our Origins 2019 Preview, you can do so here. By preordering, you know the item will be there waiting for you, the publisher gets a better idea of how many copies to bring to the show, and BGG earns a 5% commission on the sale. It's a virtuous circle in which everyone wins!

In a thread posted by BGG owner Scott Alden about this preorder system, people asked whether we would use this system for items sold through the BGG Store, especially for items being sold at SPIEL '19. The answer right now is maybe.

Since I started creating con previews on BGG in 2011, I've focused on them including only new releases and games being demoed. Some publishers have asked about being able to list everything in their back catalog, especially when they have older material that might be appropriate for clearance, but I'm hesitant to add all of those games because it would be difficult to differentiate new titles from old. Ideally we can create a second type of convention preview listing that can be hidden by users who don't want to see such things, but available to those who do. I can see lots of uses for such a system as long as it doesn't detract from the previews main purpose — letting people see what will be at a show.

One improvement we are definitely doing, though, is adding a second type of preorder to the SPIEL '19 Preview. In addition to being able to preorder games for pick up at the publisher's booth in Essen, you will be able to preorder games for pick up at BGG.CON 2019 in November. To do this, we are partnering with Funagain Games, which used to provide this service through its website. Funagain will handle fulfillment of these orders and as with publisher preorders, BGG provides the conduit through which the sale happens.

All of these preorders are up to the publishers, mind you. They can sign up to place preorders in our convention previews or not as they desire. Ideally this system provides a benefit for them, both in terms of having a better prediction of sales and in handling less cash at shows. If publishers aren't handling thousands of Euros at SPIEL '19 but are instead fulfilling orders completed and paid for ahead of time, then that reduces their potential losses to theft during the show — and given the multiple thefts that took place at SPIEL '18, that might be all the incentive they need. We'll see what happens in the months ahead, including whether we can expand the convention listings beyond only what's new.
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